Tintin is 80 and going places. The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of Unicorn will be on big screen soon thanks to the adaptation by Steven Spielberg. That notwithstanding, Tintin has learnt to speak in Hindi. After being translated in 50 languages worldwide, Tintin comics are now being translated in Hindi. The first eight of the 24 books were launched early this week by Om Books International.
Ecstatic at the launch, Ajay Mago of Om Books International says, “In 2005, I approached Casterman for the translation rights. The negotiation lasted nearly two years, after which they were happy to grant us the rights. Sample translations were reviewed until they met with the stringent standards of approval at Casterman.”
Adman Puneet Gupta, who in Ajay’s words, “has been an ardent Tintin fan since childhood. He lives, eats, breathes and dreams Tintin” was chosen to carry out the task. The other 16 titles will roll out eventually.
Every character has been suitably ‘Indianised’. Tintin’s faithful dog Snowy becomes Natkhat, the nutty cop duo Thompson and Thomson become Santu and Bantu and the absent-minded Professor Calculus becomes Professor Aryabhat Suryamukhi. The names concord with their original meanings in French. “It’s never easy to transpose from one cultural and linguistic context to another. It involves changes not only at the level of the core characters names but there idiosyncratic styles of speaking as well as making accessible to one culture the mysteries and codes of another culture,” explains Mago. Tintin, with his huge brand identity, retains his original name. “He is the magic word in the entire series,” adds Mago.
Captain Haddock’s ‘Millions and millions of squirming black turtles’ becomes ‘karodo karod kasmasate kaale kacchuve’ and ‘Ten thousand thundering typhoons’ will read ‘dus hazaar tadtadate toofan’. Tintin’s catchphrase ‘Great snakes’ has been changed to ‘baal ki khaal’.
Each of the Hindi titles is priced at Rs. 195 like the English counterparts.